feed-in. noun. The distribution of free vegetarian food, literature, and recipes in front of eating establishments that profit from animal abuse. (A tactic used by animal advocacy organizations to promote meat-, egg-, and dairy-free eating.)
“The best way to win people’s hearts is through their stomachs.”
Jiggly tofu, sprouts, and wheat germ. Unfortunately, some people think vegetarian fare is comprised of not much more, while others associate meat-, egg-, and dairy-free eating with depriving themselves of their favorite foods.
While more and more people are choosing vegetarian foods as a delicious alternative to causing unnecessary harm and death to animals, personal habits and convenience hold back others back making the switch to a gentler, more compassionate way of living.
Showing vegetarians-to-be that eating animal-friendly fare doesn’t mean giving up the tastes they love—but rather only means eating the cruelty-free versions of those tastes—becoming vegetarian suddenly seems much less daunting.
When we present vegetarianism to the public in a friendly and welcoming manner, we engage them rather than give them cause to become belligerent or quickly dismiss our message. At COK feed-ins, people are introduced to delicious vegetarian food, see video footage of horrific animal abuse committed by the meat, dairy, and egg industries, and receive literature and animal-free recipes to help them transition to a more nonviolent lifestyle—all in a positive and non-confrontational atmosphere. And our volunteers are on-hand to talk with interested passersby and answer any questions they may have.
Conduct a feed-in in your community and help the public associate vegetarianism with something they already love: free food!
How to Conduct a Feed-In
Many agree that distributing free vegetarian food with literature and recipes is a great idea, but aren’t sure how to hold feed-ins without the hassles of obtaining permits, grills, and so on.
Happily, organizing an effective feed-in is relatively simple. You just need to be a little creative. First, find a fast-food restaurant or “target” establishment with a large number of people frequenting it, or a location with heavy, steady foot traffic. Preferably, choose a site close to a public sidewalk so you can’t be legally forced to leave by being on private property.
Second, one to two hours before the event (depending on quantity as well as commute time), prepare the food you want to distribute. Vegetarian burgers cooked with barbeque sauce and mustard (to keep them moist while adding flavor) and meat-free “chicken” nuggets with a dipping sauce (like ketchup) on the side are perfect and tempting give-aways. By preparing the food and taking it to your chosen location instead of setting up a grill and cooking on-site, you can bypass food preparation rules and regulations. Worried the food will get cold or wondering how to make large quantities of vegetarian samples? Just follow these step-by-step suggestions …
For Vegetarian Burgers:
- Begin cooking the vegetarian burgers on a large, flat surface. (An electric griddle works perfectly.)
- As the first batch of burgers cooks, take several hand towels and soak them in hot water. Microwave the wet towels for five to ten minutes. (Alternatively, boil the towels in a pot of water.)
- While the towels are heating, put barbeque sauce on the cooking burgers. Make sure to put enough sauce on each so it cooks into the burgers.
- Put the hot towels in non-leakable plastic bags.
- Line the bottom of an insulated cooler with the hot, towel-filled bags.
- After the first batch of burgers is done cooking, put mustard on each along with any other desired condiments (such as shredded lettuce, ketchup, or chopped onions).
- Individually wrap each burger in aluminum foil.
- Place a layer of wrapped burgers on top of the hot towel—filled bags.
- Put a second layer of hot towel—filled bags directly over the burgers.
- Put another layer of tin foil—wrapped burgers … and so on.
For Vegetarian “Chicken” Nuggets:
- According to package instructions, prepare nuggets you know will appeal to meat-eaters. Our favorite brand is available through VegieWorld.com.
- When the nuggets are hot and ready, place them inside a large sheet of tin foil and wrap them tightly.
- The same heating method used for the burgers (layering hot towels under and over the baked nuggets) work perfectly, so just put that wrapped nuggets inside in an insulator cooler with the hot towels.
Preparing for a feed-in is that easy! Now all you have to do is make sure you have enough pro-vegetarian literature and animal-friendly recipes to hand out during the event … so, go out and show the public that delicious, healthy alternatives to supporting the abusive meat, egg, and dairy industries do exist. Good luck!
Click here to order literature and recipe booklets from COK.